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Make CAG part of legislature, suggests PACs conference

The All India Conference of Public Accounts Committees (PACs) of parliament and state assemblies on Wednesday suggested that law should be amended to make the CAg or the government auditor part of legislature as in Britain and Australia.

The two-day conference, which concluded here on Wednesday, also reiterated the recommendation made by the PAC during last Lok Sabha that the committee should be consulted in appointment of the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG).

Speaking to reporters, PAC chairman K.V. Thomas said there were suggestions that proceedings of the committee should be open to the media except in sensitive cases.

He said the government should implement the recommendations of PAC and give a reason if it is not implementing any of them.

“We give report to parliament. The government should take it as mandatory,” he said.

A statement issued by the Lok Sabha Secretariat said that during the 15th Lok Sabha, a suggestion was made by the then PAC that the committee should be consulted before appointment of the C&AG and “the C&AG should be part of legislature like in the UK (Britain) and Australia.”

“There is a need to amend the C&AG Act to this effect,” the release said.

Among the issues discussed were that PAC should take up examination of public private partnership projects and need to place a binding obligation upon the officials to part with information and records sought.

There was also a suggestion that PACs should pay greater attention to scrutiny of implementation of central schemes and national programmes which affect the masses.

A committee has been formed to look into the issues raised.

There were also suggestions to set time limit for ministries to furnish action taken reports on audit observations and PAC recommendations.

The participants suggested that PAC can consider collection of information through social audit agencies, NGOs and public and through internet portals dedicated to the committee.